Naupaka - Virginia "Gann" Carter

`O `oe ku`u lei o Naupaka
Ke onaona a ke aloha
Hau`oli mau kâua
I nâ pua `ala onaona
A pili mau loa kâua

He pua no `oe
Ho`opa `ia e ke kêhau
Ko maka palupalu
Mau momi `âlohilohi

Maliu mai e ku`u pua
Na`u e inu i kou nani
Pûlama a mâlama
`O Naupaka

You are my lei of Naupaka
The soft fragrance of love
We will always be happy
The flowers, so fragrant
Two of us, together forever

You are my flower
Touched by dew
Your gentle eyes
Radiant, like pearls

Turn to me, my blossom
Your beauty, mine to indulge
(I will) cherish and care for you


Naupaka kahakai

Naupaka kuahiwi







Source: S. Puesche - Gann A. Carter was a very good family friend of the Beamer family. In the 1940's, she met Nona Beamer while in college in Colorado and became very close to the entire Beamer clan during those years. Thus, her interest and influence in Hawaiian music.

Naupaka (scaevola) is a shrub found in the mountains (naupaka kuahiwi) or near the beach (naupaka kahakai) that bears white flowers, sometimes streaked with purple, that look like half of a flower. The Kaua`i legend, as told by Jacob Maka of Haena, surrounds the lovers Nanau and Kapaka who broke a hula kapu the night before their `ûniki (graduation). Wrapped in their pô`e1e cloaks, they fled across Limahuli stream, passing Waialoha spring and Maniniholo cave. They raced across the flats of Naue pursued relentlessly by their kumu. Reaching Lumahai beach, they separated, Nanau scampering up the cliffs and Kapaka hiding in the beach cave of Ho`ohila. As the kumu approached the cliffs, Kapaka emerged from the cave blocking the way, hoping to give her lover time to escape. Enraged, the kumu struck Kapaka dead and pressed up the cliff intent on punishing the other disobedient student. Far up the ridge, Nanau heard the screams of Kapaka and turned back to rescue his beloved. It was at Pu`uomanu he encountered the teacher and was struck mortally. Later that very same day, Lumahai fishermen discovered a plant, never before seen, growing on the spot where Kapaka died. The plant had fleshy leaves and small white fruit resembling congealed tears and half a flower. Returning to Pu`uomanu, the kumu found another strange plant with half a flower also, growing on the spot where Nanau died. There are several versions of the Naupaka legend in Hawaiian folklore, but all concern lovers that are separated forever, one banished to the mountains, the other to the beach. Translator unknown

Gann Carter